Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Are You and Why Do We Care?: Purdue Boilermakers

Who wears short shorts?

Is there a rivalry here?
Not really. Michigan has played against Purdue 57 times. Michigan has won 43 and only lost 14 of those games against the Boilermakers. Of the seven founding members of the Western Conference (not including Chicago), Purdue is the team Michigan has faced the least. 

What happened last year?
The Boilermakers entered The Big House with a 4-3 record. They opened the scoring just 1 minute and 24 seconds into the game on a 48 yard pass from Caleb TerBush to Gary Bush. Michigan responded with a 12 play 6 minute drive that ended in a Denard Robinson touchdown. At the beginning of the second quarter, Denard completed a 49 yard pass, then was taken out of the game, and Gardner went in at Quarterback. He proceeded to throw an interception. It was all part of the plan though, as Mike Martin sacked Caleb TerBush in the endzone for a safety. Brendan Gibbons kicked a field goal on Michigan's return possession. Robert Marve then replaced TerBush at quarterback, lead the Boilermakers down the field, and threw an interception of his own. In response, Michigan stormed down the field, and Fitz Toussaint ran for a two yard touchdown. The last score of the half was another Brendan Gibbons field goal. In the third quarter Toussaint ran for a 59 yard touchdown. Michigan ran the ball seven straight times to start the fourth quarter. The seventh was a 37 yard run by Michael Shaw for a touchdown. Purdue would score another touchdown with 15 seconds left, but the game was already in hand. Michigan won 36-14. The player of the game was definitely Toussaint who ran for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

What do they look like?
Purdue's official colors are Old Gold and Black. This season the Boilermakers debuted an updated logo, and therefore received new uniforms from Nike. So out with the old, and in with the new (and from behind). Their home uniforms are black with gold numbers and have "Nike Lace" on the collar. They wear the home jerseys with either gold or black pants. Their away uniforms are white with black numbers. They wear either the gold or black pants, plus they have an all white option. The pants have a stripe up the side of the leg that starts at the bottom of the leg and does not quite reach the hip. Their helmets are gold with a black stripe and  the Purdue P in black with a white outline. 

Do they have good coaches?
If the amount of mustache a coach has was directly correlated to the amount of games a team won, then Purdue would have the best coaches of all time. Since 1997, Purdue has had a mustachioed man at the helm of their football team. Purdue hired Joe Tiller as head coach in 1997 after he coached for six years at the University of Wyoming. In his 12 season tenure at Purdue, Tiller took the Boilermakers to 10 bowl games and attained a 126-92-1 record. This was after Purdue had only had two winning seasons in the 18 years previous. Tiller is the winningest coach in Purdue history. Tiller retired in 2008 and was succeeded by fellow mustachioed man Danny Hope. 

Hope was an offensive line coach from 1985 to 2001. His first 9 years were at Louisville under head coach Howard Schnellenberger (hope I spelled that right). He spent one year at Oklahoma before joining Tiller's staff at Wyoming. Hope followed Tiller to Purdue, and was the offensive line coach their until 2001. After one season as Louisville's assistant head coach, he was hired to be the head coach at Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels had a 35-22 record under Hope, including a 9-3 season in 2007, which would be Hope's last. In January of 2008, Hope accepted a position as coach in waiting under Tiller. Tiller announced his decision to retire before the 2008 season began, so Hope knew would take over in 2009. Hope's Boilermakers have attained a record of 19-22, but seem to be on the upswing after two mediocre to bad seasons to start his head coaching career at Purdue. 

Where do they play football?
The Boilermakers play football at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana. The stadium was named after the principal benefactors David E. Ross and George Ade. When the stadium first opened in 1924, it had a capacity of 13,500. Today after many renovations, the stadium has a capacity of 62,500. 

Do they have a goofy mascot?
The official mascot of the Purdue Boilermakers is the Boilermaker Special. The Boilermaker Special is a Victorian-era train built on a truck so it can be driven around campus. The Purdue Reamer Club has much more information on this mascot. The mascot you may be more familiar with is Purdue Pete. Purdue Pete was first introduced in 1940, and has been a mainstay on the sidelines of all their sporting events ever since. 
You may have also heard that Purdue has an enormous drum. the drum is 8 feet in diameter and called the World's Largest Drum. They play the drum at all football games, as well as the Indianapolis 500. When the drum is not in use it is defended at the Purdue University Armory. 

Prediction based on everthing but football: Michigan 42-Purdue 28

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